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GB Number Plate Stickers No Longer Valid Abroad

A bit of a kerfuffle ...

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Posted by Roger Eddowes on 07/10/2021 @ 8:00AM

Any British motorist venturing outside the UK with their car should now remove any old style GB number plate stickers or cover them up if they can't be removed. Now they need a UK sticker instead ...

If you're heading to the continent in your car, the rules around number plate stickers has changed!

If you're heading to the continent in your car, the rules around number plate stickers has changed!

copyright: the digital artist /pixabay

Either a UK sticker or have the UK identifier on their number plates. This guidance has been in place since the 28th of September. It may just be about replacing 2 letters, but it is a very significant change.

"Number plates with the EU Flag on them are also no longer valid!"

There are some penalties for non-compliance. Leading motorist retail centres such as Halfords are saying that displaying the wrong badge could mean refusal of entry to some countries. With all the arguments happening with the French Government at the moment, it could mean you'll be on the ferry home again shortly after arriving on the continent.

This change was a decision by our own Government, and we applied for the change via the United Nations. It's seen as a symbol of unity post-Brexit and post-pandemic as the economy opens up again.

Government guidelines say that you must display a UK sticker if any of the following apply:

  • Your number plate has a GB identifier and the Union flag

  • Any sort of EU identifier on it

  • A national flag of England, Scotland or Wales

  • No identifiers; just your car's registration number

However, if you already have UK on your number plate and that has a Union flag on it (AKA, The Union Jack), you don't need an additional UK sticker for most of Europe. If you're in Spain, Cyprus or Malta, then you do!

And finally, because of the common travel area, if you're in the Republic of Ireland then you won't need number plate stickers at all.

Until next time ...

Business Godparent


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About Roger Eddowes ...


Roger trained at Edward Thomas Peirson & Sons in Market Harborough before working at Hartwell & Co, followed by Chancery, as a partner. He started Essendon Accounts and Tax with Helen Beaumont in 2014 as a general practitioner with a hands-on approach.

Roger loves getting his hands dirty, working with emerging, small-to-medium and family businesses to ensure they receive the best possible accountancy advice. Roger utilises an extensive network of business contacts to leverage the best guidance and practical solutions.